Sales are starting to go down because of the Berlin Film Festival, so be prepared for on onslaught of press releases. For the most part, these press releases are boilerplate about how happy everyone is to be working with each other, acquiring projects, etc. However, these press releases also tend to include the first synopsis for the film in question. Today, The Exchange announced they had acquired Meg Ryan‘s directorial debut, Ithaca, which will star Ryan, Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith, and Jack Quaid, with more casting to be announced as the summer start date approaches.
There’s also a release for Jason Lew‘s thriller, The Free World. Cillian Murphy stars as a recently released convict whose freedom is put in jeopardy when he meets a tragic, mysterious woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) with a violent past. Hit the jump for the press releases.
Though development on a sequel to Top Gun appears to have stalled following the tragic death of director Tony Scott, it appears that the 3D re-release of the original will be getting the largest possible exhibition. We’ve long-known that Scott’s 1986 classic was getting a 3D post-conversion, but Paramount Pictures announced today that the film will be released exclusively in select IMAX 3D screens for a limited engagement starting February 8th. Fans now have a chance to see that intense slow motion volleyball fighter pilot action on the big, big screen. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Meg Ryan will make her feature directorial debut with the comedy-drama Into the Beautiful. The script by Anne Meredith (Cavedweller) is described as “a contemporary Big Chill with longtime friends reconnecting.” At the sound of that logline, I thought a star studded cast of Ryan and famous friends (Tom Hanks!) might be in store. At this time, however, there are no plans to include Ryan in the cast.
Producer Wendy Finerman (P.S. I Love You) told Variety: “I’m often drawn to pictures that make you laugh and cry. I think this is the perfect project for Meg to bring to life. She’s poignant and funny and heartfelt.” Natalie Marciano and Lisa Zupan will also produce. Into the Beautiful is scheduled to begin shooting this September in New York. Ryan will next appear on screen in Lives of the Saints.
Meg Ryan (The Women), Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Twelve), John Lithgow (Dexter), Joe Anderson (The Crazies), and Kat Dennings (Thor) assume the lead roles in the ensemble drama Lives of the Saints. Kevin Zegers (Gossip Girl), Anthony Anderson (Law & Order), and Esai Morales (Caprica) also appear in the film, the feature debut of writer/director Chris Rossi.
According to Variety, the film tells “the intertwining stories of a group of Angelenos seeking redemption for past mistakes, only to find that forgiveness comes from unlikely places.” Like any logline that contains the phrase “comes from unlikely places,” this one sounds terrible. But the cast is mad eclectic. That’s got to be good for something. For instance, a scene between John Lithgow and 50 Cent may achieve the greatest disparity in acting talent ever captured on film. Filming begins November 13th.
Between “Hung”, “Bored to Death“, and a new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” this September, HBO may be the center for great comedy this late summer/early fall. And Meg Ryan is wisely choosing to be a part of it as EW is reporting that she’ll be guest starring on the new season of “Curb”. Presumambly she’ll be playing herself (there’s a fame quotient and if you’re recognized enough, you have to play yourself; character actors and most comedians are free to play anyone they want). While we still have the great unanswered question of whether or not the Blacks will return (especially Leon (played by JB Smoove); oh please let Leon come back), EW reports that there will be a multi-episode storyline that reunites the “Seinfeld” cast. I wonder if Leon will get up in Michael Richards’ ass.